Accepting what is (just for today)

The holiday can be so hard for those of us who are grieving a loss.  It could be the loss of a job, a loss of a loved one, an aging parent who is ill, absence of a relationship. Loss is just about death. It is about every disappointment we’ve ever held. Grieving is inevitable when we experience loss. Any kind of loss. It doesn’t have to be a death. In this life, if we care about anything, love anything, chances are, we are going to experience loss.

It can be something as simple as not being invited to the holiday party you really want to go to at work. It can be a disappointment.
It can be not feeling heard or supported in the way you would like to be by someone you love.
It can be not having the validation for something you did you felt was important.

One of the hardest things I find about grieving is practicing acceptance.
Acceptance is one of the most important parts of the grieving process and sometimes hardest to do.
We can keep those buried emotions at arms distance for so long, and then it’s back.

It can be so hard to accept a loss. Sometimes, we confuse acceptance with giving up.
Giving up the missing, the yearning, the wanting him/her back, wishing things were different.

What if acceptance means being WILLING?
Just for today,
-Being willing at this moment to accept our pain and loss.
-Being able to accept that our loved one has moved onto another plane of existence.

-What if acceptance means being willing to be open with our heart that may be broken, but not shut?

A lot of my clients tell me their grief is stored in their gut, they feel like they’ve been punched in the stomach.
Their body is tense, their fists are clenched. Yoga breathe work can help integrate the grief into our body, as can simple heart opener
meditation you can try at home.

Simple heart opening meditation when you feel your heart closing off from the grief. I recorded in a video in case you wanted to try it vs. reading.  My gift to you this week:)  Plus some pranayama breathework below.
It is lovely to spend a few minutes doing at the end of your day, to keep that heart open. From my heart to yours this week. And, would LOVE to hear your thoughts below.

Mad love until next week,



heart opener meditation

Heart opener meditation

Find a comfortable place to sit down. Close your eyes. Bring your left palm flat against the heart center and place the right palm on top of the left. Let your mind settle, relax. The thoughts from the day, let them unwind. 

Take a deep breath in through the nose, allow your belly to expand as you breathe in, hold the breath for a few seconds and then breathe out your mouth slowly. Allow your body to relax
on the out breath.
See if you can slow down your breathe and allow it to be more relaxed.
With each breath you take, your body is becoming more relaxed, and your mind is becoming more clear and focused. Breathe in through your nose, hold it for a few seconds, and exhale out your mouth.

With each breath, relax your body, let your mind wander, not settling on anything in particular. Bring your awareness inwardly. Become aware of the sensations in your body, notice with each breath you are letting any outward noise fall away. Notice that anytime your mind wanders, just bring it back to center. Bring your attention to the center of your chest, where your heart is.

Allow yourself to sink into your heart. Breathe into your heart. Feel the beating of your heart against your left palm. Feel your heart.

Visualize a ball of light in your heart area.  Allow it to swirl and open up like a flower. Notice any emotions that come up, any energy. So much is stored in the heart. Unconditional love, compassion, kindness. This flower is your heart opening. Let your heart open. Allow your heart center to be filled with unconditional love, compassion, kindness for yourself.

Notice with each breath the sensations in your body, continuing to relax, let your mind come back slowly to the present. Take a few moments to sit quietly with eyes closed and surround yourself with the loving. When you are ready, open your eyes. Take a few minutes to journal and jot down any thoughts you may have had.

4×4 pranayama purifying breath to de-stress exercise.  (A thank you to Cat Williford’s post for reminding me of this exercise.) This helps bring your mind to your breath, back to focusing on you and not the things that’s come unglued in your daily life.

Step 1: Sit with a straight spine or lie down.
Step 2: Inhale to a slow count of 4.
Step 3: Hold your breath for a slow count of four.
Step 4: Exhale to a slow count of 4.
Step 5: Rest with no breath for a count of 4.
Repeat twice more.

This one taken from Dying into Life, The yoga of Death Loss and Transformation.
Left nostril breathing is a calming breath. This is something you can do when you are feeling tense, upset or nervous. This will also help if you are having trouble sleeping.

Sit with a straight spine or lie down.
Take your right thumb and block your right nostril.
Inhale deeply through the left nostril for a slow count of 4.
Exhale equally slow for a count of 4.
Continue for 1-3 minutes.
For the last set,
Inhale deeply through the left nostril for a slow count of 4.
Hold your breath for a slow count of four.
Exhale equally slow for a count of 4.

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